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Thread: To Raise Or to dig

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    To Raise Or to dig

    I'm new to this forum and I was hoping you guys could either ease my fears or suggest a better route. I am looking to install a 15X30 Oval AGP. My yard is sloping and the pool location is right in the biggest part of the slope. A friend of mine has a small tractor with a bucket and back hoe. He took time out of his busy schedule and came to my house on Sunday to dig out the highside. Once he was done and packed up. I got in there to finish the leveling and realized that the high side is still 14" higher then the low side. It was extremely hard to schedule my friend to come out and he did it for a meal and out of the goodness of her heart, so I would hate to call him back in, plus I dont want to wait weeks before he can get around to it.

    My options are to either dig the remaining high side by hand, or to add dirt to the low side. I know adding dirt is not recommended, however it seems that some people have gone this route without issue.

    I measured the area and outlined where the pool would go. From the center of the pool to the highside, it is off by 5". Then from the center to the low side, it is off by 9". I was thinking of digging out the 5" on the highside and then filling in the 9" of the low side. I would carry the filled area out a couple feet beyond the end of the pool and I would use either a stone retaining wall (the kind with the lip that locks behind the lower block) or I would use landscaping timbers spiked into the ground. I would fill with dirt and water, compact, then fill and water & compact some more.

    1. Do you guys think I will be ok, with that filled area since it is not very much? Any Suggestions on the best way to get it compacted? And would the blocks or timbers be best. The blocks would look nicer, but the timbers would be cheaper and faster. I am already building a retaining wall to hold back the grade where it was dug out on the high side.

    2. Or... Should I just bite the bullet and dig out the full 14" by hand?

    thanks for all your help

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: To Raise Or to dig

    I know adding dirt is not recommended
    That really is the answer. You might get away with backfill but you probably won't. I wouldn't take the risk.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    msgtdan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    SW MO

    Re: To Raise Or to dig

    I had a similar situation, I hand dug to within a couple of inches, then dug in the high side pavers and set the low side pavers on the surface and filled around them compacting as I went. I also put some broken pieces of paver I had under the low side rails. I got everything level to within 1/4" and after almost a year it's still good and we've had lots of rain. I also put drainage in around the pool to keep it fairly dry.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: To Raise Or to dig

    I'll take your 14" and raise you 10"+ more inches!

    Start digging.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  5. Back To Top    #5
    cramar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sault Ontario

    Re: To Raise Or to dig

    Ditto's to Duraleigh.

    There is a proper to way to build up a pool site and if you don't adhere to that process there is a risk of failure, there's a few threads around about building up a site and how to do it properly (material, compaction, retention, etc). Suffice to say it's not as simply as throwing some dirt down and leveling. There's proper methods, based on the specific slope, to follow

    Above all remember that your finished pool will have over 110,000 lbs of water in it, if it not set up right you will have a disproportionate stress with the possibility of pool base erosion or possible pool failure.
    If that much weight lets go you run the risk of injury to persons or property damage and you will be liable, if you have kids think of what 110,000 lbs of water might do to them.

    Also, if not done according to manufacturers specs, the warranty will be void.

    Safety first!
    Hope everything works out for you.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji

    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Erie pa

    Re: To Raise Or to dig

    Dig my neighbor brought in topsoil to level his agp. It was okay for a couple years but rain eventually eroded the soil away and the sand actually came out from under the liner.
    16x32 vinyl ig with foxguard steel walls,gli liner ,hayward de filter,hayward heatpro heat pump,hayward colorlogic 4.0 led.pentair circular weir skimmers.hayward sharkvac xl robot,gli mesh cover.polk atrium speakers,sonos music system.erie pa.

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